Friday, September 26, 2014

‘Boxtrolls:’ Incredible Animation, Charmless Story

Review of the movie "The Boxtrolls."
Detailed props that are used in the film "The Boxtrolls" is seen here. (Focus Features)
All the work and detail that went into The Boxtrolls may never be fully appreciated. Though an early promotion featuring the making of the movie using the song, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” as a backdrop was presented months ago, that all might be forgotten now that the film is out in theaters. The stop motion animation is almost too good on the big screen for viewers to actually see what they are looking is actually small puppets and hand-crafted sets. As with its predessors, Coraline and ParaNormal, The Boxtrolls is beautiful to look at and one should appreciate all of the work that went in to making the film. Unfortunately, the artwork is only half of the production.

Based on the book “Here Be Monsters” by Alan Snow, Boxtrolls was an attempt to move in a different direction than the two previous films. Where the first two were considered children’s horror stories, Boxtrolls is more of a fairytale. The story itself had great potential, but the end product is a charmless mess.


Boxtrolls are mischievous creatures who dress themselves in cardboard boxes and refer to each other by whatever the box original contained such as “fish,” “sweets” and “wheels.” By day, they sleep peacefully under the streets of the city of Cheesebridge. By night, they roam around the city and take with them anything that isn’t nailed down and sometimes that too. There they create inventions and machines out of the things they find. Sometimes they just destroy light bulbs or what not to enjoy the sound that the broken glass makes. They are neither bad nor good, they just are who they are, but the folks of Cheesebridge are frightened by the creatures. Naturally, stories about the boxtrolls being baby snatchers and eating children, circulates throughout the town and fuels this fear.